Concert Recommendation: Patti Smith, Navy Pier Skyline Stage, June 24
A few summers ago, the Patti Smith Group played a free outdoor show
sponsored by the Tribune. A
WXRT DJ gave a deeply reverential introduction. Yes, Smith's 1975 debut
Horses frequently turns up on
lists of the greatest rock albums ever. She's an integral part of the
early New York punk scene with such peers as the Ramones, Talking Heads
and Blondie. Her continuing influence can be heard in the Strokes. But
she was having none of the ego-stroking. She dismissed the praise and
claimed that she and the band were just a bunch of fuck-ups. The
long-time members of the group cheered wildly for what they deemed a
more accurate appraisal while the young guns on stage looked awkward.
Because of long gaps between albums and therefore long gaps between
tours, her live reputation isn't as entrenched, even if Gilda Radner
did parody her as "Candy Slice" back when Saturday Night Live was relevant
and funny. Like Iggy Pop, she gives herself fully to the material.
She's an uninhibited and charismatic performer. Her new album Trampin' will give her a chance to
show this off at the Skyline Stage.
Patti Smith plays the Navy Pier
Skyline Stage at 7:30 p.m. on
Thursday, June 24.